We have heard the sounds of women's silence.
We have listened to our sisters' voices.
We have been stirred by their passion,
Encouraged by their strength,
Instructed by their wisdom.
We, like them, wish to speak out.
We, like them, desire to speak truly.
We, like them, have a story to proclaim.
We long to midwife a new and living word for our time.
But often we are afraid.
We fear the sound of our own voices.
We would not know our own strength,
We would not claim our power.
We have not eloquence, no find-sounding words or polished phrases.
Our speech is halting, we stumble and stutter over the words of life.
Our lips are sealed, like the tombs of the unloving.
Our tongues are heavy as stones within our mouths.
Come to us and speak to us in our weakness.
Set fire of your speech in our throats,
And the burning coal of your passion on our tongues.
Loosen our lips to proclaim your praise.
O you, whose voice rolls over the waters
And thunders over the oceans,
Whose word splits even the cedar trees
And breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon,
Whose voice makes the oaks shake and shudder,
And strips the forest bare,
Whose word whirls the sands of the desert
And resounds through the mountains:
Open our lips and our mouth shall declare your praise.